Tributes paid to drowned DVA chief
Published 03/04/2013 | 00:00
A senior civil servant who died after falling from his fishing spot on Northern Ireland's north coast was a true gentleman, a close colleague has said.
Stanley Duncan, 57, from Comber in Co Down, oversaw driver and vehicle licensing and worked in the civil service for 36 years. The married father of two daughters was on rocks close to Portstewart harbour when he went into the bitterly cold Atlantic.
He was rescued by lifeboat after two fellow fishermen managed to stop him from being swept away but died later in Causeway Hospital.
He helped young people and the elderly at home and abroad through his church work and fellow civil servants, church leaders and MLAs paid warm tributes.
Trevor Evans, a director at the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA), said: "He was extremely dedicated to his work, his family and his church and he had the energy and a capacity for work that always left me in awe."
Mr Duncan was in the DVA since 1995. He became its chief executive in 2003 and senior staff said he was totally committed to achieving the best for his staff and customers.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: "He knew the importance and value of the work of the DVA, in particular the DVA centre in Coleraine. He was committed to the DVA and committed to the public service."
Mr Evans added: "Stanley was simply one of life's true gentlemen. I have had the good fortune to work with some lovely people over 40 years but no one was nicer than Stanley Duncan."
According to Chris Little, head of Coleraine's coastguard station, nobody saw him going into the water on Tuesday night while fishing from rocks. He was heard falling in by two nearby fishermen who went to his assistance. They reached into the water and managed to pull him onto the back of the rocks where they held him while another person sought help. The lifeboat arrived in less than 10 minutes.
Mr Little said there were popular fishing spots along the north coast but proportionately few incidents like Tuesday's. He urged those fishing to use lifejackets and be aware of the risk from waves and the slippery surroundings.